New mom challenges are plenty and while motherhood is the most amazing experience in a woman's life, the hardships, and challenges that come along make it all the more adventurous and exciting at the same time!
After my son was born I spent most of my days at home, wishing I could get some sleep and lying to all my friends who came to see my newborn and asked if everything was okay. I was exhausted, hormonal and grumpy, and somehow I felt trapped in my own house, wondering if I would ever feel normal again.
I knew those first weeks with the baby would be hard, but I didn’t know how hard. But then things changed for the better as I gradually started accepting the changes, challenges, and when that happened, everything seemed not too bad after all!
Challenges every new mom faces and how to cope with them
So here are 10 hardships that every new mom faces, and just so you know ladies, you are not alone in this!
1. You are in a loop
Everyone warns you that you won’t be getting adequate sleep anymore, and they are not lying. During the first few weeks, the baby will spend his days and nights eating about every two hours- and just when you are about to drift off to sleep for the third time that night, you will hear the cry of your hungry newborn waking you up again. Imagine your alarm clock going off every few hours for five weeks straight. Not fun.
2. You are sleep deprived
That sleep deprivation is going to be there, you are going to be tired. But here the tiredness is not like when you stay up to watch Oscars and have an 8:30 a.m. meeting the next day. This new type of tiredness due to watching your baby 24x7 may cause headaches, depression, irritability, and confusion. You will have to let go of the notion that you will get a full eight hours sleep, but a little here and there can really add up. So sleep whenever you can!
3. You are hormonal
That meltdown you had while shopping for the perfect crib is nothing compared to what you are in store for. New mothers are generally very low in a hormonal state. Adding to that the “baby blues” –the moodiness that goes along with that hormone flux.
4. You may often feel lonely
Emotional support will help at this time. You will feel a little emotional at this time. The solution to it would be to try and find other women going through the same challenges as you are.
5. You are a rookie!
For many new moms, feeding and caring for a newborn baby will bring on the most stress. Like should I nurse or bottle feed or is baby producing enough wet diapers? The questions go on and on and are all consuming — because you are worried about your baby, as any mum does. Try not to let all the details stress you out- just focus on what’s really important: feeding, the baby and you.
6. Your baby is still a stranger at times
There is now a strange creature who looks a little bit like you, sleeps nearly all the time, covers you in spit-up and poop, and barely acknowledges your existence. It is not uncommon to sometimes wonder why you haven’t bonded just yet. Reassure yourself that it takes time to get to know each other.
7. You are sore
There are other not so fun body changes that are common in the first few weeks including swelling, haemorrhoids. Sometimes you will feel that you will never be normal again, but you will. You will just have to wait it out as your body heals, making sure you get proper nutrition and rest so you are on the road to a full recovery. Ask your partner for help with the baby and other tasks when you are sore.
8. You don't look like you
Many women get shocked when they still look pregnant after delivering the baby. Don’t criticize your body, think of the amazing thing it did: creating and delivering a beautiful baby! Try to stay positive and remind yourself that your body doesn’t have to be like this forever.
9. Breastfeeding can be tough
This is one of the most common new mom challenges! Society makes it seem like breastfeeding is intuitive, but it’s actually more difficult like-baby not latching, painful feedings or lack of milk production. Just take it easy and go with the flow and eventually everything will fall into place.
10. You won't get thanked just yet
Babies need food, warmth, and sleep- just provide these basic needs and know that the bonding will come later. In no time when your child will start growing, he will understand your value and gratitude will definitely be showered upon you for all the efforts you put in this beautiful yet challenging journey called motherhood.
The first few weeks are difficult, no doubt about it. It will be over before you know it and you will be proud you survived!
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